Germany Hopeful Biden Will Halt US Troop Drawdown

Trump's plan would withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany, leaving about 24,000 in the country

German officials are hopeful that a Joe Biden victory in the US presidential election means the reversal of President Trump’s plan to withdraw about 12,000 US troops from the European country. The drawdown would leave around 24,000 US troops in Germany.

Markus Söder, the minister-president of the German state of Bavaria, which houses US troops, said on Monday that he is relieved by Biden’s victory. Söder said he hopes the transfer of power will “put partially one-sided, politically motivated troop drawdown plans on ice.”

Trump has said the withdrawal was due to Germany not spending enough on its defense and being “delinquent” on NATO payments. In comments on the US election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to increase Berlin’s military spending.

“Germans and Europeans know that we must shoulder greater responsibility for this partnership,” Merkel said. “America remains our most important ally. But it expects from us, for good reason, stronger efforts toward our own security, and to stand up for our convictions in the world.”

Trump’s Germany drawdown has met much resistance in Congress. House Democrats even added an amendment to block the withdrawal to their version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

Trump’s former Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, who was fired on Monday, was spinning the drawdown as a repositioning of resources to counter Moscow. Esper said half of the troops leaving Germany would be redeployed further east, closer to Russia’s border. The US even signed a military pact with Poland to increase its military presence in the country, which Poland’s president ratified on Monday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.